Bhubaneswar: Despite the pandemic challenges the players should be able to train and play with full confidence and pride and return with a good experience. So, we are doing everything possible to prepare for the smooth conduct of the Games. We are working towards making this international sporting event, safe, secured and memorable for the junior hockey players who have come here with big dreams.
Given the myriad challenges posed due to pandemic, the event officials led by the organising committee have tried to put together a flawless system of testing and tracking for an incident free event, shares R Vineel Krishna, Sports Secretary, Odisha State Government.
On an average 500 tests are being conducted and same day reports are being generated by Regional Medical Research Centre. Every 72 hours each and very person including players, officials, hotel staff and associates involved with the event are retested. Designated officials of Sports and Youth Services Department personally oversee the entire functioning while also ensuring no one misses the cycle of 72 hours.
“Testing and Tracking and matching records is challenging and officials of Sports and Youth Services Department are ensuring this process is implemented smoothly in accordance with training and match schedules and as per the convenience. It shouldn’t be an overwhelming experience for the players.” added Sports Secretary.
For this event, the focus is on Safety and since 8 November, since the arrival of the India Junior Team, testing has commenced for players and officials and were ramped up from 15 November, once the international teams started arriving. A more elaborate testing processes is in place now. A unit from Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation along with one from Capital Hospital, are stationed for sample collection, at different hotels where players are accommodated. In total 12 units have been deployed.
Following arrival at airport the players are taken to their respective hotels where the testing team with PPE kit test each and every arriving player and official. These RTPCR tests are conducted following all covid guidelines. The players have been very accommodating of the covid guidelines and norms.
Counter measures are also in place in case there is any incident reported. Bhubaneswar was amongst the first city to be 100 % vaccinated so there is some relief there.
This is the first international event in the country, after covid pandemic started. Several teams including India, Germany, Poland, Belgium, USA, Canada, South Africa, The Netherlands, have arrived In Bhubaneswar ahead of the games, and few more will be in the next couple of days.